Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 6, 2019

“they continued to preach the gospel.”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 14:1-7.

“In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks.  But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren.  Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands.  But the people of the city were divided;  and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.  And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them, they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region;  and there they continued to preach the gospel.”  Acts 14:1-7.

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Despite persecution that caused them to flee, “they continued to preach the gospel.”

We may experience what we consider successes and failures.  But, God is sovereign over all and will accomplish His purpose.

Paul and Barnabas experience the successes of “a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks” and “signs and wonders” were done by their hands.

Paul and Barnabas also experienced the failures that some Jews disbelieved and “the people of the city were divided;  and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.”  Finally, “an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them”.

In the language of the concluding Scripture, when Paul and Barnabas experienced success, they were preaching “in season”, and when they experienced failure, they were preaching “out of season”.  But, “in season and out of season”, Paul and Barnabas “continued to preach the gospel”.

We should follow their example and continue to preach and teach the gospel despite the persecutions, tribulations, successes, and failures that we experience.

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season;  reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;  but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.  But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:1-5.


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